Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious or national group. The term was coined in 1944 by Raphael Lemkin. It is defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) of 1948 as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the groups conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
The preamble to the CPPCG states that “genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of theUnited Nations and condemned by the civilized world” and that “at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity”.
Determining what historical events constitute a genocide and which are merely criminal or inhuman behavior is not a clear-cut matter. In nearly every case where accusations of genocide have circulated, partisans of various sides have fiercely disputed the details and interpretation of the event, often to the point of depicting wildly different versions of the facts. Alleged genocides should be understood in this context and such allegations cannot be regarded as the final word.
Legally, genocide is defined as any conflict that the International Criminal Court has so designated. Many conflicts that have been labeled genocide in the popular press have not been so designated.
M. Hassan Kakar argued that the definition should include political groups or any group so defined by the perpetrator. He prefers the definition Chalk and Jonassohn: “Genocide is a form of one-sided mass killing in which a state or other authority intends to destroy a group so defined by the perpetrator.”
Some critics of the international definition argued that the definition was influenced by Joseph Stalin to exclude political groups.
According to R. J. Rummel, genocide has multiple meanings. The ordinary meaning is murder by a government of people due to their national, ethnic, racial, or religious group membership. The legal meaning is defined by CCPG. This includes actions such as preventing births or forcibly transferring children to another group. Rummel created the term democide to include assaults on political groups.
In this article, atrocities that have been called genocide by some reliable source are included, whether or not they match one of these definitions. The acts may involve mass killings, mass deportations, withholding of food and/or other necessities of life, death by invasive infectious disease agents or combinations of these, whether or not specific evidence documents an intent by the perpetrators to destroy a people.
Pre–World War I
According to Adam Jones, if a dominant group of people has little in common with a marginalized group of people, it is easy for the dominant group to define the other as subhuman. As a result, the marginalized group might be labeled as a threat that must be eliminated. Jones continues: “The difficulty, as Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn pointed out in their early study, is that such historical records as exist are ambiguous and undependable. While history today is generally written with some fealty to ‘objective’ facts, most previous accounts aimed rather to praise the writer’s patron (normally the leader) and to emphasize the superiority of one’s own gods and religious beliefs.”
Chalk and Jonassohn: “Historically and anthropologically peoples have always had a name for themselves. In a great many cases, that name meant ‘the people’ to set the owners of that name off against all other people who were considered of lesser quality in some way. If the differences between the people and some other society were particularly large in terms of religion, language, manners, customs, and so on, then such others were seen as less than fully human: pagans, savages, or even animals.”
Scholars of antiquity differentiate between genocide and gendercide, in which males were killed but the children (particularly the girls) and women were incorporated into the conquering group. Jones notes, “Chalk and Jonassohn provide a wide-ranging selection of historical events such as the Assyrian Empire‘s root-and branch depredations in the first half of the first millennium BCE, and the destruction of Melos by Athens during the Peloponnesian War (fifth century BCE), a gendercidal rampage described by Thucydides in his ‘Melian Dialogue‘”. The Old Testament documents the destruction of the Midianites, taking place during the life ofMoses in the 2nd millenium BC. The Book of Numbers chapter 31 recounts that an army of Isrealites kill every Midianite man but capture the women and children as plunder. These are later killed at the command of Moses, with the exception of girls who have not slept with a man. The total number killed is not recorded but the number of surviving girls is recorded as thirty two thousand.
Jared Diamond suggested that genocidal violence may have caused the Neanderthals to go extinct. Ronald Wright also suggested such a genocide. However, several scholars have formed alternative ideas as to why the Neanderthals died off, with there being no clear consensus viewpoint in the scientific community. Some academics have theorized that the beings were overly sensitive to the massive climate changes taking place, lacking advantages against cold that humans had.
Ben Kiernan, a Yale scholar, has labelled the destruction of Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War (149–146 BC) “The First Genocide”.
A 2010 study suggests that a group of Anasazi in the American Southwest were killed in a genocide that took place circa 800 AD.
Quoting Eric Margolis, Jones observes that in the 13th century the Mongol horsemen of Temüjin Genghis Khan were genocidal killers (génocidaires) who were known to kill whole nations, leaving nothing but empty ruins and bones. He ordered the extermination of the Tata Mongols, and all Kankalis males in Bukhara “taller than a wheel” using a technique called measuring against the linchpin. Rosanne Klass referred to the Mongols’ rule of Afghanistan as “genocide”.
Similarly, the Turko-Mongol conqueror Tamerlane was known for his extreme brutality and his conquests were accompanied by genocidal massacres. William Rubinstein wrote: “In Assyria (1393–4) – Tamerlane got around – he killed all the Christians he could find, including everyone in the, then, Christian city of Tikrit, thus virtually destroying Christianity in Mesopotamia. Impartially, however, Tamerlane also slaughtered Shi’ite Muslims, Jews and heathens.”
1490 to 1914
Between 1810 and 1828, the Zulu kingdom under Shaka Zulu laid waste to large parts of present-day South Africa and Zimbabwe. Zulu armies often aimed not only at defeating enemies but at their total destruction. Those exterminated included prisoners of war, women, children and even dogs. (Controversial) estimates for the death toll range from 1 million to 2 million.
German South-West Africa
The Herero and Namaqua Genocide in German South-West Africa (present-day Namibia) occurred between 1904 and 1907. Eighty percent of the Herero population and 50 percent of the Nama population were killed in a brutal scorched earth campaign led by German General Lothar von Trotha. Between 24,000 and 100,000 Herero perished along with 10,000 Nama.
A copy of Trotha’s Extermination Order survives in the Botswana National Archives. The order states “every Herero, with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot. I will no longer accept women or children, I will drive them back to their people [to die in the desert] or let them be shot at.” Olusoga and Erichsen write: “It is an almost unique document: an explicit, written declaration of intent to commit genocide”. These mass killings were named as the first example of a 20th-century genocide in the 1985 Whitaker Report, commissioned but never adopted by the now defunct United Nations subcommittee ECOSOC.
From the 1490s when Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas to the end of the 19th century, the indigenous population of the Western Hemisphere declined, mostly from disease, to 1.8 million from around 50 million, a decline of 96%. In Brazil alone, the indigenous population declined from a pre-Columbian high of an estimated 3 million to some 300,000 (1997). Estimates of how many people were living in the Americas when Columbus arrived have varied tremendously; 20th century scholarly estimates ranged from 8.4 million to 112.5 million. However, Robert Royal stated, “estimates of pre-Columbian population figures have become heavily politicized with scholars who are particularly critical of Europe and/or Western civilization often favoring wildly higher figures.”
Epidemic disease was the overwhelming direct cause of the population decline of the American natives. After first contacts with Europeans and Africans, the death of 90 to 95 percent of the native population of the New World was caused by Old World diseases such as smallpox and measles. Some estimates indicate that smallpox had a 80–90% fatality rate in Native American populations.
British commander Jeffery Amherst may have authorized the intentional use of disease as a biological weapon against indigenous populations during the Siege of Fort Pitt. It was the only documented case of germ warfare and it is uncertain whether it successfully infected the target population.
Some historians argue that genocide, as a crime of intent, does not describe the colonization experience. Stafford Poole, a research historian, wrote: “There are other terms to describe what happened in the Western Hemisphere, but genocide is not one of them. It is a good propaganda term in an age where slogans and shouting have replaced reflection and learning, but to use it in this context is to cheapen both the word itself and the appalling experiences of the Jews andArmenians, to mention but two of the major victims of this century.” Holocaust scholar and political scientist Guenter Lewy rejects the label of genocide and views the depopulation of the Americas as “not a crime but a tragedy”. Likewise, Noble David Cook writing about the Black Legend wrote “There were too few Spaniards to have killed the millions who were reported to have died in the first century after Old and New World contact.”
By contrast, David Stannard argued that the destruction of the American aboriginals from 76 million down to a quarter-million over 4 centuries, in a “string of genocide campaigns”, killing “countless tens of millions”, was the most massive genocide in world history. Several works on the subject were released around the year 1992 to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage.
In 2003, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez urged Latin Americans to not celebrate the Columbus Day holiday. Chavez blamed Columbus for leading to the alleged genocide.
David Quammen likened colonial American practices toward Native Americans to those of Australia toward its aboriginal populations, calling both genocide.
The Conquest of the Desert was a military campaign directed mainly by General Julio Argentino Roca in the 1870s, which established Argentine dominance overPatagonia, then inhabited by indigenous peoples, killing more than 1,300.
Contemporary sources indicate that it was a deliberate genocide by the Argentine government. Others perceived the campaign as intending to suppress only groups of aboriginals that refused to submit to the government and carried out attacks on European settlements.
Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the first ruler of an independent Haiti, ordered the killing of the white population of French creoles on Haiti which culminated in the 1804 Haiti Massacre. According to Philippe Girard, “when the genocide was over, Haiti’s white population was virtually non-existent.”
The Caste War of Yucatán (approx. 1847–1901) against the population of European descent, called Yucatecos, who held political and economic control of the region. Adam Jones wrote: Genocidal atrocities on both sides cost up to 200,000 killed.”
In 1835, Don Ignacio Zuniga, commander of the presidios of northern Sonora, asserted that since 1820 the Apaches had killed at least five thousand settlers. The state of Sonora then offered a bounty on Apache scalps in 1835. Beginning in 1837 Chihuahua state also offered a bounty of 100 pesos per warrior, 50 pesos per woman and 25 pesos per child.
The indigenous rebellions of Túpac Amaru II and Túpac Katari against the Spanish between 1780 and 1782, cost over 100,000 colonists’ lives in Peru and Upper Peru (present-day Bolivia).”
Authors, such as David Cesarani, argued that United States government policies in furtherance of its so-called Manifest Destiny constituted genocide.
Statistics regarding deaths due to armed conflict between Native Americans and Europeans are sparse, as in many cases there were no records kept. A study by Gregory Michno concluded that of 21,586 tabulated casualties in a selected 672 battles and skirmishes, military personnel and settlers accounted for 6,596 (31%), while indigenous casualties totaled about 14,990 (69%) for the period 1850–90. Michno’s study almost exclusively uses Army estimates. His follow-up book “Forgotten Battles and Skirmishes” covers over 300 additional fights not included in these statistics. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census (1894), “The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives of about 19,000 white men, women and children, including those killed in individual combats, and the lives of about 30,000 Indians. The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much higher than the given… Fifty percent additional would be a safe estimate…”
Chalk and Jonassohn claimed that the deportation of the Cherokee tribe along the Trail of Tears would almost certainly be considered an act of genocide today.The Indian Removal Act of 1830 led to the exodus. About 17,000 Cherokees—along with approximately 2,000 Cherokee-owned black slaves—were removed from their homes. The number of people who died as a result of the Trail of Tears has been variously estimated. American doctor and missionary Elizur Butler, who made the journey with one party, estimated 4,000 deaths.
The native population of the United States has been difficult to pin down due to the lack of reliable source materials. Historian and Information Scientist Dr. David Henige asserts that the modern trend of high population estimates is “pseudo-scientific number-crunching.” While he does not advocate a low population estimates, he argues that the scarce and uncomprehensive nature of the evidence renders broad estimates(eg.as high as the entire population of the US at the onset of World War I) to be somewhat suspect, saying “Examining the methodologies used by “high counters” have been particularly flagrant in their misuse of sources.”
Credible evidence exists that epidemic disease was the overwhelming cause of the population decline of the American natives because of their lack of immunity to new diseases brought from Europe. Contemporaneous accounts of the effects of smallpox, among the native population suggest an 80% to 95% mortality rate of the entire population effected. Governor William Bradford wrote, in 1633, about the second reported outbreak (e.g. 1617, 1633) in New England: “… for it pleased God to visit these Indians with a great sickness, and such a mortality that of a 1000. above 900.and a half of them died, and many of them did rot above ground for want of burial, …”
Main articles: Beothuk
The Beothuks attempted to avoid contact with Europeans in Newfoundland by moving from their traditional settlements. The Beothuks were put into a position where they were forced from their traditional land and lifestyle into ecosystems that could not support them and that led to undernourishment and eventually starvation. While some scholars believe that the Beothuk primarily died out due to the elements noted above, another theory is that Europeans conducted a sustained campaign of genocide against them. They were officially declared “extinct” after the death of Shanawdithit in 1829 in the capital, St. John’s, where she had been taken.
Asia and Oceania
Japanese colonization of Hokkaido
The Ainu are an indigenous people in Japan (Hokkaidō). In a 2009 news story, Japan Today reported, “Many Ainu were forced to work, essentially as slaves, forWajin (ethnic Japanese), resulting in the breakup of families and the introduction of smallpox, measles, cholera and tuberculosis into their community. In 1869, the new Meiji government renamed Ezo Hokkaido and unilaterally incorporated it into Japan. It banned the Ainu language, took Ainu land away, and prohibited salmon fishing and deer hunting.” Roy Thomas wrote: “Ill treatment of native peoples is common to all colonial powers, and, at its worst, leads to genocide. Japan’s native people, the Ainu, have, however, been the object of a particularly cruel hoax, because the Japanese have refused to accept them officially as a separate minority people.” In 2004 the small Ainu community living in Russia wrote a letter to Vladimir Putin, urging him to recognize Japanese behaviour against the Ainu people as genocide, which Putin declined to do.
The Dzungar (or Zunghar), Oirat Mongols who lived in an area that stretched from the west end of the Great Wall of China to present-day eastern Kazakhstan and from present-day northern Kyrgyzstan to southern Siberia (most of which is located in present-day Xinjiang), were the last nomadic empire to threaten China, which they did from the early 17th century through the middle of the 18th century. After a series of inconclusive military conflicts that started in the 1680s, the Dzungars were subjugated by the Manchu-led Qing dynasty (1644–1911) in the late 1750s. According to Qing scholar Wei Yuan, 40 percent of the 600,000 Zunghar people were killed by smallpox, 20 percent fled to Russia or sought refuge among the Kazakh tribes and 30 percent were killed by the Qing army of Manchu Bannermenand Khalkha Mongols. Historian Michael Edmund Clarke has argued that the Qing campaign in 1757–58 “amounted to the complete destruction of not only the Zunghar state but of the Zunghars as a people.” Historian Peter Perdue has attributed the decimation of the Dzungars to a “deliberate use of massacre” and has described it as an “ethnic genocide”. Mark Levene, a historian of genocide, has stated that the extermination of the Dzungars was “arguably the eighteenth century genocide par excellence.”
According to research published from 2009, in 1789 the British deliberately spread smallpox from the First Fleet to counter overwhelming native tribes near Sydney in New South Wales. In his book “An Indelible Stain”, Henry Reynolds described this act as genocide. Many scholars disagree that the initial smallpox was the result of deliberate biological warfare and have suggested other causes.
The Black War was a period of conflict between British colonists and Tasmanian Aborigines in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) in the early 19th century. The conflict, in combination with introduced diseases and other factors, had such devastating impacts on the Tasmanian Aboriginal population that it was reported the Tasmanian Aborigines had been exterminated. Historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote that by 1830, “Disease had killed most of them but warfare and private violence had also been devastating.” In the 19th century, smallpox was the principal cause of Aboriginal deaths.
Lemkin and most other comparative genocide scholars present the extinction of the Tasmanian Aborigines as a textbook example of a genocide, while the majority of Australian experts are more circumspect. Detailed studies of the events surrounding the extinction have raised questions about some of the details and interpretations in earlier histories. Curthoys concluded, “It is time for a more robust exchange between genocide and Tasmanian historical scholarship if we are to understand better what did happen in Tasmania.”
On the Australian continent during the colonial period (1788–1901), the population of 500,000–750,000 Australian Aborigines was reduced to fewer than 50,000. Most were devastated by the introduction of alien diseases after contact with Europeans, while perhaps 20,000 were killed by massacres and fighting with colonists.
In the early 19th Century Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama (local Māori tribes) massacred the Moriori people. The Moriori were the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands (Rekohu in Moriori, Wharekauri in Māori), east of the New Zealand archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. These people lived by a code of non-violence and passive resistance (see Nunuku-whenua), which led to their near-extinction at the hands of Taranaki Māori invaders in the 1830s.
In 1835, some Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama from the Taranaki region of North Island invaded the Chathams. On 19 November 1835, the Rodney, a European ship hired by the Māori, arrived carrying 500 Māori armed with guns, clubs, and axes, followed by another ship with 400 more warriors on 5 December 1835. They proceeded to enslave some Moriori and kill and cannibalise others. “Parties of warriors armed with muskets, clubs and tomahawks, led by their chiefs, walked through Moriori tribal territories and settlements without warning, permission or greeting. If the districts were wanted by the invaders, they curtly informed the inhabitants that their land had been taken and the Moriori living there were now vassals.”
A council of Moriori elders was convened at the settlement called Te Awapatiki. Despite knowing of the Māori predilection for killing and eating the conquered, and despite the admonition by some of the elder chiefs that the principle of Nunuku was not appropriate now, two chiefs—Tapata and Torea—declared that “the law of Nunuku was not a strategy for survival, to be varied as conditions changed; it was a moral imperative.” A Moriori survivor recalled: “[The Maori] commenced to kill us like sheep…. [We] were terrified, fled to the bush, concealed ourselves in holes underground, and in any place to escape our enemies. It was of no avail; we were discovered and killed – men, women and children indiscriminately.” A Māori conqueror explained, “We took possession… in accordance with our customs and we caught all the people. Not one escaped…”
After the invasion, Moriori were forbidden to marry Moriori, or to have children with each other. All became slaves of the invaders. Many Moriori women had children by their Maori masters. A small number of Moriori women eventually married either Maori or European men. Some were taken from the Chathams and never returned. Only 101 Moriori out of a population of about 2,000 were left alive by 1862. Although the last Moriori of unmixed ancestry, Tommy Solomon, died in 1933 several thousand mixed ancestry Moriori are alive today.
Mass shootings at Nantes, 1793
In 1986, Reynald Secher argued that the actions of the French republican government during the revolt in the Vendée (1793–1796), a popular mostly Catholic uprising against the anti-clerical Republican government during the French Revolution was the first modern genocide. Secher’s claims caused a minor uproar in France and mainstream authorities rejected Secher’s claims. Timothy Tackett countered that “the Vendée was a tragic civil war with endless horrors committed by both sides—initiated, in fact, by the rebels themselves. The Vendeans were no more blameless than were the republicans. The use of the word genocide is wholly inaccurate and inappropriate.” However, historians Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn consider the Vendée a case of genocide. Historian Pierre Chaunu called the Vendée the first ideological genocide. Adam Jones estimates 150,000 Vendeans died in what he also considers to be genocide.
War of the Three Kingdoms
Toward the end of the War of the Three Kingdoms (1639–1651) the English Rump Parliament sent the New Model Army to Ireland to subdue and take revenge on the Catholic population of the country and to prevent Royalists loyal to Charles II from using Ireland as a base to threaten England. The force was initially under the command of Oliver Cromwell and later under other parliamentary generals. The Army sought to secure the country, but also to confiscate lands of Irish families involved in the fighting. This became a continuation of the Elizabethan policy of encouraging Protestant settlement of Ireland, because the Protestant New Model army soldiers—could be paid in confiscated lands rather than in cash.
During the Interregnum (1651–1660), this policy was enhanced with the passing of the Act of Settlement of Ireland in 1652. Its goal was a further transfer of land from Irish to English hands. The immediate war aims and the longer term policies of the English Parliamentarians resulted in an attempt by the English to transfer the native population to the western fringes to make way for Protestant settlers. This policy was reflected in a phrase attributed to Cromwell: “To Hell or to Connaught” and has been described by historians as ethnic cleansing, if not genocide.
Great Irish Famine
During the Irish Potato Famine (1845–1852), approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland,causing the island’s population to fall by between 20% and 25%. The proximate cause of famine was a potato disease commonly known as potato blight. Although blight ravaged potato crops throughout Europe during the 1840s, the impact and human cost in Ireland – where one-third of the population was entirely dependent on the potato for food – was exacerbated by a host of political, social, and economic factors which remain the subject of historical debate.
During the Famine, Ireland produced enough food, flax, and wool to feed and clothe double its nine million people. When Ireland had experienced a famine in 1782–83, ports were closed to keep Irish-grown food in Ireland to feed the Irish. Local food prices promptly dropped. Merchants lobbied against the export ban, but government in the 1780s overrode their protests. There was no such export ban in the 1840s. Some historians have argued that in this sense the famine was artificial, caused by the British government’s choice not to stop exports.
Francis A. Boyle claimed that the government violated sections (a), (b), and (c) of Article 2 of the CPPCG and committed genocide in a formal legal opinion to the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education on May 2, 1996. Charles E. Rice issued another formal opinion, also based on Article 2, alleging that the British had committed genocide.
The claims were contested by Peter Gray, who concluded that UK government policy “was not a policy of deliberate genocide”, but a dogmatic refusal to admit that the policy was wrong. James S. Donnelly, Jr., split the difference, writing, “while genocide was not in fact committed, what happened … had the look of genocide to a great many Irish”.
Cecil Woodham-Smith claimed that while the export policy embittered the Irish, this did not implicate the policy in genocide, but rather in excessive parsimony obtuseness, short-sightedness, and ignorance.
Irish historian Cormac O’ Grada rejects the term, stating that the English exhibited no desire to exterminate the Irish and that the challenges for providing relief were enormous.
W.D. Rubinstein also rejected the genocide claim.
The Russian Tsarist Empire waged war against Circassia in the Northwest Caucasus for more than one hundred years, trying to replace Circassia’s hold along theBlack Sea coast. After a century of insurgency and war and failure to end the conflict, the Tsar ordered the expulsion of most of the Muslim population of the North Caucasus. Many Circassians, Western historians, Turks and Chechens claimed that the events of the 1860s constituted one of the first modern genocides, in that a whole population was eliminated to satisfy the desires (in this case economic) of a powerful country.
Antero Leitzinger flagged the affair as the 19th century’s largest genocide. Some estimates cite that approximately 1-1.5 million Circassians were killed and most of the Muslim population was deported. Ossete Muslims and Kabardins generally did not leave. The modern Circassians and Abazins descend from those who managed to escape the onslaught and later returned another 1.5 million Circassians and others. This effectively annihilated (or deported) 90% of the nation.Tsarist documents recorded more than 400,000 Circassians killed, 497,000 forced to flee and only 80,000 were left in their native area. Circassians were viewed as tools by the Ottoman government, and settled in restive areas whose populations had nationalist yearnings- Armenia, the Arab regions and the Balkans. Many more Circassians were killed by the policies of the Balkan states, primarily Serbia and Bulgaria, which became independent at that time. Still more Circassians were forcefully assimilated by nationalist Muslim states (Turkey, Syria, Iraq, etc.) who looked upon non-Turk/Arab ethnicity as a foreign presence and a threat.
In May 1994, the then Russian President Boris Yeltsin admitted that resistance to the tsarist forces was legitimate, but he did not recognize “the guilt of the tsarist government for the genocide.” In 1997 and 1998, the leaders of Kabardino-Balkaria and of Adygea sent appeals to the Duma to reconsider the situation and to apologize, without response. In October 2006, the Adygeyan public organizations of Russia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Syria, the USA, Belgium, Canada and Germany sent the president of the European Parliament a letter with a request to recognize the genocide.
On 5 July 2005 the Circassian Congress, an organisation that unites representatives of the various Circassian peoples in the Russian Federation, called on Moscow to acknowledge and apologize for the genocide.
Twentieth century (from World War I)
World War I through World War II
In 1915, during World War I, the concept of crimes against humanity was introduced into international relations for the first time when the Allied Powers sent a letter to the government of the Ottoman Empire, a member of the Central Powers, protesting massacres that were taking place within the Empire.
On May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers (Britain, France, and Russia) jointly issued a statement that for the first time ever explicitly charged a government with committing a “crime against humanity” in reference to that regime’s persecution of its Christian minorities, including Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks. Many researchers consider these events to be part of the policy of planned ethnoreligious purification of the Turkish state advanced by the Young Turks.
This joint statement stated, “[i]n view of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization, the Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte that they will hold personally responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres.”
Armenian civilians, escorted by armed Ottoman soldiers, are marched through Kharpert to a prison in the nearby Mezireh district, April 1915.
The Armenian Genocide (Armenian: Հայոց Ցեղասպանություն, translit.: Hayots’ Ts’eġaspanout’youn; Turkish: Ermeni Soykırımı and Ermeni Kıyımı) refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was implemented through wholesale massacres and deportations, with the deportations consisting of forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees. The total number of resulting deaths is generally held to have been between one and one and a half million.
The genocide began on April 24, 1915, when Ottoman authorities arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. Thereafter, the Ottoman military uprooted Armenians from their homes and forced them to march for hundreds of miles, without food and water, to the desert of what is now Syria. Massacres ignored age and gender, withrape and other acts of sexual abuse being commonplace. The majority of Armenian diaspora communities were founded as a result of these events. Mass killings continued under the Republic of Turkey during the Turkish–Armenian War phase of Turkish War of Independence.
Modern Turkey succeeded the Ottoman Empire in 1923 and vehemently denies that a genocide took place. It has resisted calls in recent years by scholars, countries and international organizations to acknowledge the crime. It is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust. Lemkin coined “genocide” to describe these events.
The Assyrian Genocide (also known as Sayfo or Seyfo; Aramaic: ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ or ܣܝܦܐ, Turkish: Süryani Soykırımı) was committed against the Assyrian population of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War by the Young Turks. The Assyrian population of northern Mesopotamia (Tur Abdin, Hakkari, Van,Siirt region in modern-day southeastern Turkey and Urmia region in northwestern Iran) was forcibly relocated and massacred by Ottoman (Turkish and alliedKurdish) forces between 1914 and 1920. This genocide paralleled the Armenian Genocide and Greek genocide. The Assyro-Chaldean National Council stated in a December 4, 1922, memorandum that the total death toll is unknown, but it estimated that about 750,000 Assyrians died between 1914 and 1918.
The Greek genocide refers to the fate of the Greek population of the Ottoman Empire during and in the aftermath of World War I (1914–18). Like Armenians and Assyrians, the Greeks were subjected to various forms of persecution including massacres, expulsions, and death marches by Young Turks. Mass killing of Greeks continued under the Turkish National Movement during the Greco-Turkish War phase of the Turkish War of Independence. George W. Rendel of the British Foreign Office, among other diplomats, noted the massacres and deportations of Greeks during the post-Armistice period. They killed an estimate of 348,000 Anatolian Greeks.
The Dersim Massacre refers to the depopulation of Dersim in Turkish Kurdistan, in 1937–38, in which approximately 65,000–70,000 Alevi Kurds were killed and thousands more were driven into exile. A key component of the Turkification process was a policy of massive population resettlement. The main document, the1934 Law on Resettlement, was used to target the region of Dersim as one of its first test cases, with disastrous consequences for the local population.
Many Kurds and some ethnic Turks consider the events that took place in Dersim to constitute genocide. A prominent proponent of this view is İsmail Beşikçi.Under international laws, the actions of the Turkish authorities were arguably not genocide, because they were not aimed at the extermination of a people, but at resettlement and suppression. A Turkish court ruled in 2011 that the events could not be considered genocide because they were not directed systematically against an ethnic group. Scholars such as Martin van Bruinessen, have instead talked of an ethnocide directed against the local language and identity.
Multiple documented instances of unnatural mass death occurred in the Soviet Union. These include Union-wide famines in the early 1920s and early 1930s and deportations of ethnic minorities.
Soviet diplomatic efforts removed the extermination of political groups from the United Nations Convention on Genocide. This left many of the Soviet atrocities outside the United Nations definition of genocide, because the atrocities targeted political or economic groups rather than the ethnic, racial, religious, or national groups listed in the UN convention.
During the Russian Civil War the Bolsheviks engaged in a genocidal campaign against the Don Cossacks. The most reliable estimates indicate that out of a population of three million, between 300,000 and 500,000 were killed or deported in 1919–20.
Starved peasants on a street inKharkiv, 1933.
During the Soviet famine of 1932–33 that affected Ukraine, Kazakhstan and some densely populated regions of Russia, the scale of death in Ukraine is referred to as the Holodomor and is recognized as genocide by the governments of Australia, Argentina, Georgia, Estonia, Italy, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, the USA and Hungary. The famine was caused by the confiscation of the whole 1933 harvest in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, the Kuban (a densely populated Russian region), and some other parts of the Soviet Union, leaving the peasants too little to feed themselves. As a result, an estimated ten million died, including over seven million in Ukraine, one million in the North Caucasus and one million elsewhere. American historian Timothy Snyder wrote of “3.3 million Soviet citizens (mostly Ukrainians) deliberately starved by their own government in Soviet Ukraine in 1932–1933”
In addition to the requisitioning of crops and livestock in Ukraine, all food was confiscated by Soviet authorities. Any and all aid and food was prohibited from entering the Ukrainian republic. Ukraine’s Yuschenko administration recognised the Holodomor as an act of genocide and pushed international governments to acknowledge this. This move was opposed by the Russian government and some members of the Ukrainian parliament, especially the Communists. A Ukrainian court found Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Stanislav Kosior, Pavel Postyshev, Vlas Chubar and Mendel Khatayevich posthumously guilty of genocide on 13 January 2010.As of 2010, the Russian government’s official position was that the famine took place, but was not an ethnic genocide; former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych supported this position. A ruling of January 13, 2010 by Kyiv’s Court of Appeal declared the Soviet leaders guilty of ‘genocide against the Ukrainian national group in 1932–33 through the artificial creation of living conditions intended for its partial physical destruction.'”
A few scholars argue that the killing, on the basis of nationality and politics, of more than 120,000 ethnic Poles in the Soviet Union during 1937–38 was genocide.
On February 26, 2004 the plenary assembly of the European Parliament recognized the deportation of Chechen people during Operation Lentil (23 February 1944), as an act of genocide, on the basis of the 1907 IV Hague Convention: The Laws and Customs of War on Land and the CPPCG.
The event began on 23 February 1944, when the entire population of Checheno-Ingushetia was summoned to local party buildings where they were told they were to be deported as punishment for their alleged collaboration with the Germans. The inhabitants were rounded up and imprisoned in Studebaker trucks and sent to Siberia.
- Many times, resistance was met with slaughter, and in one such instance, in the aul of Khaibakh, about 700 people were locked in a barn and burned to death. By the next summer, Checheno-Ingushetia was dissolved; a number of Chechen and Ingush placenames were replaced with Russian ones; mosques and graveyards were destroyed, and a massive campaign to burn numerous historical Chechen texts was nearly complete.
-  Throughout the North Caucasus, about 700,000 (according to Dalkhat Ediev, 724297, of which the majority, 412,548, were Chechens, along with 96,327Ingush, 104,146 Kalmyks, 39,407 Balkars and 71,869 Karachais). Many died on the trip, of exposure in Siberia’s extremely harsh environment. The NKVD, supplying the Russian perspective, gives the statistic of 144,704 killed in 1944–1948 alone (with a death rate of 23.5% for all groups). Estimates for Chechen deaths alone (excluding the NKVD statistic), range from about 170,000 to 200,000, thus ranging from over a third of the total Chechen population to nearly half being killed (of those that were deported, not counting those killed on the spot) in those 4 years alone. Both the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the European Union Parliament marked it as genocide in 2004.
Deportations of Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians
The mass deportations of up to 17,500 Lithuanians, 17,000 Latvians and 6,000 Estonians carried out by Stalin were allegedly the start of another genocide. Added to the killing of the Forest Brethren and the renewed Dekulakization that followed the Soviet reconquest of the Baltic states at the end of World War Two, the total number deported to Siberia was 118,559 from Lithuania, 52,541 from Latvia, and 32,540 from Estonia. The high death rate of deportees during the first few years of exile, caused by the failure of Soviet authorities to provide suitable clothing and housing at the destination, led some sources to label the affair an act of genocide. Based on the Martens Clause and the principles of the Nuremberg Charter, the European Court of Human Rights held that the March deportationconstituted a crime against humanity. According to Erwin Oberlander, these deportations are a crime against humanity, rather than genocide.
Lithuania began trials for genocide in 1997. Latvia and Estonia followed in 1998. Latvia has since convicted four security officers and in 2003 sentenced a former KGB agent to five years. Estonia tried and convicted ten men and is investigating others. In Lithuania by 2004 23 cases were before the courts, but as of the end of the year none had been convicted.
In 2007 Estonia charged Arnold Meri (then 88 years old), a former Soviet Communist Party official and highly decorated former Red Army soldier, with genocide. Shortly after the trial opened, it was suspended because of Meri’s frail health and then abandoned when he died. A memorial in Vilnius, Lithuania, is dedicated to genocidal victims of Stalin and Hitler, and the Museum of Genocide Victims in Lithuania, which opened on 14 October 1992 in the former KGB headquarters, chronicles the imprisonment and deportation of Lithuanians.
During the Nanking Massacre in the period of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese engaged in mass killings against the Chinese. Bradley Campbell described the Nanking Massacre as a genocide, because the Chinese were unilaterally killed by the Japanese en masse during the aftermath, despite the successful and certain outcome of their battle.
Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe
The Nazi Holocaust is universally recognized as genocide. The term appeared in the indictment of 24 German leaders. Count three of the indictment stated that all the defendants had “conducted deliberate and systematic genocide – namely, the extermination of racial and national groups…”
The term “the Holocaust” (from the Greek hólos, “whole” and kaustós, “burnt”) is often used to describe the killing of approximately six million European Jews, as part of a program of deliberate extermination planned and executed by the National Socialist German Workers Party in Germany led by Adolf Hitler. Many scholars do not include other groups in the definition of the Holocaust, reserving the term to refer only to the genocide of the Jews,
- The Holocaust: Definition and Preliminary Discussion, Yad Vashem,
The Holocaust, as presented in this resource center, is defined as the sum total of all anti-Jewish actions carried out by the German regime between 1933 and 1945: from stripping the German Jews of their legal and economic status in the 1930s, to segregating and starving Jews in the various occupied countries, to the murder of close to six million Jews in Europe. The Holocaust is part of a broader aggregate of acts of oppression and murder of various ethnic and political groups in Europe by the Germans.
-  or what the Germans called the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”
The Holocaust was accomplished in stages. Legislation to remove the Jews from civil society was enacted years before the outbreak of World War II. Concentration camps were established in which inmates were used as slave laborers until they died. Where the Third Reich conquered new territory in eastern Europe, specialized units called Einsatzgruppen murdered Jews and political opponents in mass shootings. Jews and Romani were crammed into ghettos before being transported in box cars by freight train to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, the majority were killed in gas chambers. Every arm of Germany’s bureaucracy was involved in the logistics of the mass murder, turning the country into what one Holocaust scholar has called “a genocidal nation.”
Men are forced to dig their own graves before being shot by SS troops.Šiauliai, Lithuania, July 1941
The following figures from Lucy Dawidowicz show the annihilation of the Jewish population of Europe by (pre-war) country:
|Germany and Austria
|Bohemia and Moravia
This gives a total of over 3.8 million; of these, 80–90% were estimated to be Jews. These seven camps thus accounted for half the total number of Jews killed in the entire Nazi Holocaust. Virtually the entire Jewish population of Poland died in these camps.
Since 1945, the most commonly cited figure for the total number of Jews killed has been six million. The Yad VashemHolocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, writes that there is no precise figure for the number of Jews killed, but has been able to find documentation of more than three million names of Jewish victims killed,which it displays at its visitors center. The figure most commonly used is the six million attributed to Adolf Eichmann, a senior SS official.
There were about eight to ten million Jews in the territories controlled directly or indirectly by Germany (the uncertainty arises from the lack of knowledge about how many Jews there were in the Soviet Union). The six million killed in the Holocaust thus represent 60 to 75 percent of these Jews. Of Poland’s 3.3 million Jews, about 90 percent were killed. The same proportion were killed in Latvia and Lithuania, but most of Estonia‘s Jews were evacuated in time. Of the 750,000 Jews in Germany and Austria in 1933, only about a quarter survived. Although many German Jews emigrated before 1939, the majority of these fled to Czechoslovakia, France or the Netherlands, from where they were later deported to their deaths.
In Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, and Yugoslavia, over 70 percent were killed. 50 to 70 percent were killed in Romania, Belgium and Hungary. It is likely that a similar proportion were killed in Belarus and Ukraine, but these figures are less certain. Countries with notably lower proportions of deaths include Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Italy, and Norway. Albania was the only country occupied by Germany that had a significantly larger Jewish population in 1945 than in 1939. About two hundred native Jews and over a thousand refugees were provided with false documents, hidden when necessary, and generally treated as honored guests in a country whose population was roughly 60% Muslim. Additionally, Japan, as an Axis member, had its own unique response to German policies regarding Jews; see Shanghai Ghetto.
In addition to those who died in extermination camps, at least half a million Jews died in other camps, including the major concentration camps in Germany. These were not extermination camps, but had large numbers of Jewish prisoners at various times, particularly in the last year of the war as the Nazis withdrew from Poland. About a million people died in these camps, and although the proportion of Jews is not known with certainty, it was estimated to be at least 50 percent.Einsatzgruppen in the occupied Soviet territories (an approximate figure, since the Einsatzgruppen killings were frequently undocumented). Many more died through execution or of disease and malnutrition in the ghettos of Poland before they could be deported.
Another 800,000 to one million Jews were killed by the
Jewish Holocaust death toll as a percentage of the total pre-war Jewish population
In the 1990s, the opening of government archives in Eastern Europe resulted in the adjustment of the death tolls published in the pioneering work by Hilberg, Dawidowicz and Gilbert (e.g. compare Gilbert’s estimation of two million deaths in Auschwitz-Birkenau with the updated figure of one million in the Extermination Camp data box). As pointed out above, Wolfgang Benz has been carrying out work on the more recent data. He concluded in 1999:
The goal of annihilating all of the Jews of Europe, as it was proclaimed at the conference in the villa Am Grossen Wannsee in January 1942, was not reached. Yet the six million murder victims make the holocaust a unique crime in the history of mankind. The number of victims—and with certainty the following represent the minimum number in each case—cannot express that adequately. Numbers are just too abstract. However they must be stated in order to make clear the dimension of the genocide: 165,000 Jews from Germany, 65,000 from Austria, 32,000 from France and Belgium, more than 100,000 from the Netherlands, 60,000 from Greece, the same number from Yugoslavia, more than 140,000 from Czechoslovakia, half a million from Hungary, 2.2 million from the Soviet Union, and 2.7 million from Poland. To these numbers must be added all those killed in the pogroms and massacres in Romania and Transitrien (over 200,000) and the deported and murdered Jews from Albania and Norway, Denmark and Italy, from Luxembourg and Bulgaria.
—Benz, Wolfgang The Holocaust: A German Historian Examines the Genocide
Some scholars broaden the definition to include other German killing policies during the war, including the mistreatment of Soviet POWs, crimes against ethnic Poles,euthanasia of mentally and physically disabled Germans, persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the killing of Romani, and other crimes committed against ethnic and political minorities. Using this definition, the total number of Holocaust victims is 11 million people. Donald Niewyk suggests that the broadest definition, including Soviet deaths due to war-related famine and disease, would produce a death toll of 17 million. Overall, about 5.7 million (78 percent) of the 7.3 million Jews in occupied Europe perished. This was in contrast to the five to 11 million (1.4 percent to 3.0 percent) of the 360 million non-Jews in German-dominated Europe.
Men hanged as partisans somewhere in the Soviet Union.
In 1995 a paper published by M. V. Philimoshin at the Russian Academy of Scienceput the civilian death toll in the regions occupied by Germany at 13.7 million. Philimoshin cited sources from the Soviet era to support his figures, he used the terms “genocide” and “premeditated extermination” when referring to the deaths of 7.4 million civilians in the occupied USSR caused by the direct, intentional actions of violence. Civilians killed in reprisals during the Soviet partisan war account for a major part of the huge toll. The report of Philimoshin lists the deaths of civilian forced laborers in Germany as totaling 2,164,313. G. I. Krivosheev in the report on military casualties gives a total of 1,103,300 dead POWs. The total of these two figures is 3,267,613, which is in close agreement with estimates by western historians of about 3 million deaths of prisoners in German captivity. In the occupied regions Nazi Germany had a policy of forced confiscation of food that resulted in the famine deaths of an estimated 6% of the population, 4.1 million persons.
|Soviet civilian war dead estimated by Russian Academy of Science
|Deaths caused by the result of direct, intentional actions of violence
|Deaths of forced laborers in Germany
|Deaths due to famine and disease in the occupied regions
After the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia, Nazis and fascists established the Croatian state known as the Nezavisna Država Hrvatska (Independent State of Croatia) or NDH. Immediately afterwards, the NDH began a terror campaign against Serbs, Jews and Romani people. From 1941 to 1945, when Josip Broz Tito‘s partisansliberated Croatia, the Ustaše regime killed approximately 300,000 to 350,000 people, mostly Serbs and almost the entire Jewish and Romani population, many of them in the Jasenovac concentration camp. Helen Fein estimated that the Ustaše killed virtually every Romani in the country. The Ustaše enacted a policy that called for a solution to the “Serbian problem” in Croatia. The solution was to “kill one-third of the Serbs, expel one-third, and convert one-third”. According to the United States Holocaust Museum, 320,000–340,000 ethnic Serbs were murdered under Ustaše rule. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Museum and Research Center concludes that “more than 500,000 Serbs were murdered in horribly sadistic ways, 250,000 were expelled, and another 200,000 were forced to convert”. The Ustaše killed nearly 80,000 Roma and 35,000 Jews.
Some historians consider the crimes of the Chetniks in Bosnia against non-Serbs to constitute genocide.
Volhynia and Eastern Galicia
The massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia were part of an ethnic cleansing operation carried out by theUkrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) West in the Nazi-occupied regions of Eastern Galicia (Nazi created Distrikt Galizien inGeneral Government), and UPA North in Volhynia (in Nazi created Reichskommissariat Ukraine), from March 1943 until the end of 1944. The peak took place in July/August 1943 when a senior UPA commander, Dmytro Klyachkivsky, ordered the liquidation of the entire male Polish population between 16 and 60 years of age. Despite this, most were women and children. The UPA killed 40,000–60,000 Polish civilians in Volhynia, from 25,000 to 30,000–40,000 in Eastern Galicia. The killings were directly linked with the policies of the Bandera fraction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, whose goal, specified at the Second Conference of the OUN-B, was to remove non-Ukrainians from a future Ukrainian state.
The massacres are recognized in Poland as ethnic cleansing with “marks of genocide.” According to IPN prosecutor Piotr Zając, the crimes have a “character of genocide”. However, according to Katchanovski, the actions in Volhynia lacked evidence of an intent to eliminate all or part of the Polish population, and the anti-Polish action was mostly limited to a small region.
Map of persecution of the Roma
The treatment of the Romani was not consistent in the different areas that Nazi Germany conquered. In some areas (e.g. Luxembourg and the Baltic countries), the Nazis killed virtually the entire Romani population. In other areas (e.g. Denmark, Greece), there is no record of Romanis being subjected to mass killings.
Donald Niewyk and Frances Nicosia write that the death toll was at least 130,000 of the nearly one million Romani in Nazi-controlled Europe. Michael Berenbaum writes that serious scholarly estimates lie between 90,000 and 220,000. A study by Sybil Milton, senior historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, calculated a death toll of at least 220,000 and possibly closer to 500,000, but this study explicitly excluded the Independent State of Croatia where the genocide of Romanies was intense. Martin Gilbert estimates a total of more than 220,000 of the 700,000 Romani in Europe. Ian Hancock, Director of the Program of Romani Studies and the Romani Archives and Documentation Center at the University of Texas at Austin, has argued in favour of a much higher figure of between 500,000 and 1,500,000, claiming the Romani toll proportionally equaled or exceeded that of Jewish victims.
Disabled and mentally ill
Our starting-point is not the individual, and we do not subscribe to the view that one should feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty or clothe the naked—those are not our objectives. Our objectives are entirely different. They can be put most crisply in the sentence: we must have a healthy people in order to prevail in the world.
Between 1939 and 1941, 80,000 to 100,000 mentally ill adults in institutions were killed; 5,000 children in institutions; and 1,000 Jews in institutions. Outside the mental health institutions, the figures are estimated to number 20,000 (according to Dr. Georg Renno, the deputy director of Schloss Hartheim, one of the euthanasia centers) or 400,000 (according to Franz Ziereis, the commandant of Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp). Another 300,000 were forcibly sterilized. Overall it has been estimated that over 270,000 individuals with mental disorders of all kinds were put to death, although their mass murder has received relatively little historical attention. Along with the physically disabled, people suffering from dwarfism were persecuted as well. Many were put on display in cages and experimented on by the Nazis. Despite not being formally ordered to take part, psychiatrists and psychiatric institutions were at the center of justifying, planning and carrying out the atrocities at every stage, and “constituted the connection” to the later annihilation of Jews and other “undesirables” in the Holocaust. After strong protests by the German Catholic and Protestant churches on 24 August 1941 Hitler ordered the cancellation of the T4 program.
The program was named after Tiergartenstraße 4, the address of a villa in the Berlin borough of Tiergarten, the headquarters of the General Foundation for Welfare and Institutional Care, led by Philipp Bouhler, head of Hitler’s private chancellery (Kanzlei des Führer der NSDAP) and Karl Brandt, Hitler’s personal physician.
Brandt was tried in December 1946 at Nuremberg, along with 22 others, in a case known as United States of America vs. Karl Brandt et al., also known as theDoctors’ Trial. He was hanged at Landsberg Prison on 2 June 1948.
Expulsion of Germans
After WWII ended at least 12 million Germans fled or were expelled from Germany’s former eastern provinces or migrated from other countries to what remained of Germany, the largest transfer of a single ethnic population in modern history. Estimates of the total number of dead range from 500,000 to 2,000,000, where the higher figures include “unsolved cases” of persons reported as missing and presumed dead. Many German civilians were sent to internment and labor camps, where they died. Rummel estimated that 1,585,000 Germans were killed in Poland and 197,000 were killed in Czechoslovakia. The German-Czech Historians Commission, on the other hand, established a death toll for Czechoslovakia of 15-30,000. The events are usually classified as population transfer, or as ethnic cleansing. Felix Ermacora, among a minority of legal scholars, equated ethnic cleansing with genocide, and stated that the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans therefore constituted genocide.
In 1937, Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo ordered the execution of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. The Parsley Massacre, known in the Dominican Republic as “El Corte” (the Cutting), lasted approximately five days. Trujillo had his soldiers show parsley to suspected Haitians and ask, “What is this?” Spanish-speaking Dominicans would be able to pronounce the Spanish word for parsley (“perejil”) perfectly. In Haitian Creole, the word for parsley is “persil”. Those who mispronounced “perejil” were assumed to be Haitian and slaughtered. The program resulted in the deaths of 20,000 to 30,000 people.
Republic of China and Tibet
The Kuomintang‘s Republic of China government supported Muslim warlord Ma Bufang when he launched seven expeditions into Golog, causing the deaths of thousands of Tibetans. Uradyn Erden Bulag called the events that followed genocidal, while David Goodman called them ethnic cleansing. One Tibetan counted the number of times Ma attacked him, remembering the seventh attack that made life impossible. Ma was anti-communist and he and his army wiped out many Tibetans in northeast and eastern Qinghai and destroyed Tibetan Buddhist Temples. Ma also patronized the Panchen Lama, who was exiled from Tibet by the Dalai Lama‘s government.
1951 to 2000
The CPPCG was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948 and came into effect on 12 January 1951 (Resolution 260 (III)). After the necessary 20 countries became parties to the Convention, it came into force as international law on 12 January 1951. At that time however, only two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) were parties to the treaty, which caused the Convention to languish for over four decades.
Sir Ronald Wilson was once the president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission. He stated that Australia’s program in which 20-25,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly separated from their natural families was genocide, because it was intended to cause the Aboriginal people to die out. The program ran from 1900 to 1969. The nature and extent of the removals have been disputed within Australia, with opponents questioning the findings contained in the Commission report and asserting that the size of the Stolen Generation had been exaggerated. The intent and effects of the government policy were also disputed.
In 1964, towards the end of the Zanzibar Revolution—which led to the overthrow of the Sultan of Zanzibar and his mainly Arab government by local African revolutionaries—John Okello claimed in radio speeches to have killed or imprisoned tens of thousands of the Sultan’s “enemies and stooges,” but estimates of the number of deaths vary greatly, from “hundreds” to 20,000. The New York Times and other Western newspapers gave figures of 2-4,000; the higher numbers possibly were inflated by Okello’s own broadcasts and exaggerated media reports. The killing of Arab prisoners and their burial in mass graveswas documented by an Italian film crew, filming from a helicopter, in Africa Addio. Many Arabs fled to safety in Oman and by Okello’s order no Europeans were harmed. The violence did not spread to Pemba. Leo Kuper described the killing of Arabs in Zanzibar as genocide.
During the Guatemalan civil war, some thousands of people died and more than one million fled their homes and hundreds of villages were destroyed. The officially chartered Historical Clarification Commission attributed more than 93% of all documented human rights violations to Guatemala’s military government; and estimated that Maya Indians accounted for 83% of the victims. Although the war lasted from 1960 to 1996, the Historical Clarification Commission concluded that genocide might have occurred between 1981 and 1983, when the government and guerrilla had the fiercest and bloodiest combats and strategies, especially in the oil-rich area of Ixcán on the northern part of Quiché. The total numbers of mortal victims was estimated to be around 200,000, although this is an extrapolation that was done by the Historical Clarification Commission based on the cases that they documented, and there were no more than 50,000.
In 1999, Nobel peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchú brought a case against the military leadership in a Spanish Court. Six officials, among them Efraín Ríos Monttand Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores, were formally charged on 7 July 2006 to appear in the Spanish National Court after Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled in 2005 that Spanish courts could exercise universal jurisdiction over war crimes committed during the Guatemalan Civil War. In May 2013, Rios Montt was found guilty of genocide for killing 1,700 indigenous Ixil Mayans during 1982–83 by a Guatemalan court and sentenced to 80 years in prison. However, on May 20, 2013, theConstitutional Court of Guatemala overturned the conviction, voiding all proceedings back to April 19 and ordering that the trial be “reset” to that point, pending a dispute over the recusal of judges. Officials have said that Ríos Montt’s trial will resume in January 2015.
Pakistan (Bangladesh War of 1971)
An academic consensus holds that the events that took place during the Bangladesh Liberation War constituted genocide. During the nine-month-long conflict an estimated 300,000 to 3 million people were killed and that Pakistani armed forces raped between 200-400,000 Bangladeshi women and girls in an act ofgenocidal rape.
According to Sarmila Bose, 50-100,000 combatants and civilians were killed by both sides. Bose’s work and methodology were heavily critiqued. A 2008 study estimated that up to 269,000 civilians died in the conflict; the authors noted that this is far higher than two earlier estimates.According to Serajur Rahman, the official Bangladeshi estimate of “3 lahks” (300,000) was wrongly translated into English as 3 million.
A case was filed in the Federal Court of Australia on 20 September 2006 for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during 1971 by the Pakistani Armed Forces and its collaborators:
||We are glad to announce that a case has been filed in the Federal Magistrate’s Court of Australia today under the Genocide Conventions Act 1949 and War Crimes Act. This is the first time in history that someone is attending a court proceeding in relation to the [alleged] crimes of Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity during 1971 by the Pakistani Armed Forces and its collaborators. The Proceeding number is SYG 2672 of 2006. On 25 October 2006, a direction hearing will take place in the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, Sydney registry before Federal Magistrate His Honor Nicholls.
On 21 May 2007, at the request of the applicant the case was discontinued.
Burundi 1972 and 1993
After Burundi‘s independence in 1962, two events were called genocide. The 1972 mass-killings of Hutu by the Tutsi army and the 1993 killing of Tutsi by the Hutu population that is recognised as an act of genocide in the final report of the International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi presented to the United Nations Security Council in 2002.
Several million in North Korea have died of starvation since the mid-1990s, with aid groups and human rights NGOs stating often that North Korea has systematically and deliberately prevented food aid from reaching the areas most devastated by food shortages. A further one million have died in North Korea’s political prison camps that detain dissidents and their entire families, including children, for perceived political offences.
In 2004, Yad Vashem called on the international community to investigate “political genocide” in North Korea.
In September 2011, a Harvard International Review article argued that North Korea was violating the UN Genocide Convention by its systematic killing of half-Chinese babies and members of religious groups. North Korea’s Christian population, which included 25–30% of the inhabitants of Pyongyang and was considered to be the center of Christianity in East Asia in 1945, has been systematically massacred and persecuted; as of 2012 50,000–70,000 Christians were imprisoned in North Korea’s concentration camps.
Francisco Macías Nguema was the first President of Equatorial Guinea, from 1968 until his overthrow in 1979. During his presidency, his country was nicknamed “the Auschwitz of Africa”. Nguema’s regime was characterized by its abandonment of all government functions except internal security, which was accomplished by terror; he acted as chief judge and sentenced thousands to death. This led to the death or exile of up to 1/3 of the country’s population. From a population of 300,000, an estimated 80,000 had been killed, in particular those of the Bubi ethnic minority on Bioko associated with relative wealth and education. Uneasy around educated people, he had killed everyone who wore spectacles. All schools were ordered closed in 1975. The economy collapsed and skilled citizens and foreigners emigrated.
On August 3, 1979, he was overthrown by Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Macías Nguema was captured and tried for genocide and other crimes along with 10 others. All were found guilty, four received terms of imprisonment and Nguema and the other six were executed on September 29.
John B. Quigley noted at Macías Nguema’s trial that Equatorial Guinea had not ratified the Genocide convention and that records of the court proceedings show that there was some confusion over whether Nguema and his co-defendants were tried under the laws of Spain (the former colonial government) or whether the trial was justified on the claim that the Genocide Convention was part of customary international law. Quigley stated, “The Macias case stands out as the most confusing of domestic genocide prosecutions from the standpoint of the applicable law. The Macias conviction is also problematic from the standpoint of the identity of the protected group.”
East Timor was occupied by Indonesia from 1975 to 1999 as an annexed territory with provincial status. A detailed statistical report prepared for the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor cited a lower range of 102,800 conflict-related deaths in the period 1974–1999, namely, approximately 18,600 killings and 84,200 excess deaths from hunger and illness, including the Indonesian military using “starvation as a weapon to exterminate the East Timorese”,most of which occurred during the Indonesian occupation. Earlier estimates of deaths during the occupation ranged from 60,000 to 200,000.
According to Sian Powell a UN report confirmed that the Indonesian military used starvation as a weapon and employed Napalm and chemical weapons, which poisoned the food and water supply. Ben Kiernan wrote:
the crimes committed … in East Timor, with a toll of 150,000 in a population of 650,000, clearly meet a range of sociological definitions of genocide …[with] both political and ethnic groups as possible victims of genocide. The victims in East Timor included not only that substantial ‘part’ of the Timorese ‘national group’ targeted for destruction because of their resistance to Indonesian annexation…but also most members of the twenty-thousand strong ethnic Chinese minority.
West New Guinea/West Papua
An estimated 100,000+ Papuans have died since Indonesia took control of West New Guinea from the Dutch Government in 1963. An academic report alleged that “contemporary evidence set out [in this report] suggests that the Indonesian government has committed proscribed acts with the intent to destroy the West Papuans as such, in violation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the customary international law prohibition this Convention embodies”.
The communist Pathet Lao overthrew the royalist government of Laos in December 1975, establishing the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The conflict between Hmong rebels and the Pathet Lao continued in isolated pockets. The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization accused the government of Laos in collaboration with Vietnam of committing genocide against the Hmong, with up to 100,000 killed out of a population of 400,000. 
Commemoration in Argentina
In September 2006, Miguel Osvaldo Etchecolatz, who had been the police commissioner of the province of Buenos Airesduring the Dirty War (1976–1983), was found guilty of six counts of murder, six counts of unlawful imprisonment and seven counts of torture in a federal court. The judge who presided over the case, Carlos Rozanski, described the offences as part of a systematic attack that was intended to destroy parts of society that the victims represented and as such was genocide. Rozanski noted that CPPCG does not include the elimination of political groups (because that group was removed at the behest of Stalin), but instead based his findings on 11 December 1946 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96barring acts of genocide “when racial, religious, political and other groups have been destroyed, entirely or in part” (which passed unanimously), because he considered the original UN definition to be more legitimate than the politically compromised CPPCG definition.
Ethiopia‘s former Soviet-backed Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam was tried in an Ethiopian court, in absentia, for his role in mass killings. Mengistu’s charge sheet and evidence list covered 8,000 pages. The evidence against him included signed execution orders, videos of torture sessions and personal testimonies.The trial began in 1994 and on 12 December 2006 Mengistu was found guilty of genocide and other offences. He was sentenced to life in prison in January 2007. Ethiopian law includes attempts to annihilate political groups in its definition of genocide. 106 Derg officials were accused of genocide during the trials, but only 36 of them were present. Several former Derg members have been sentenced to death. Zimbabwe refused to respond to Ethiopia’s extradition request for Mengistu, which permitted him to avoid a life sentence. Mengistu supported Robert Mugabe, the long-standing President of Zimbabwe, during his leadership of Ethiopia.
Michael Clough, a US attorney and longtime Ethiopia observer told Voice of America in a statement released on December 13, 2006,
“The biggest problem with prosecuting Mengistu for genocide is that his actions did not necessarily target a particular group. They were directed against anybody who was opposing his government, and they were generally much more political than based on any ethnic targeting. In contrast, the irony is the Ethiopian government itself has been accused of genocide based on atrocities committed in Gambella. I’m not sure that they qualify as genocide either. But in Gambella, the incidents, which were well documented in a human rights report of about 2 years ago, were clearly directed at a particular group, the tribal group, the Anuak.”
An estimated 150,000 university students, intellectuals and politicians were killed during Mengistu’s rule. Amnesty International estimates that up to 500,000 people were killed during the Ethiopian Red Terror Human Rights Watch described the Red Terror as “one of the most systematic uses of mass murder by a state ever witnessed in Africa.” During his reign it was not uncommon to see students, suspected government critics or rebel sympathisers hanging from lampposts. Mengistu himself is alleged to have murdered opponents by garroting or shooting them, saying that he was leading by example.
On December 23, 2005 a Dutch court ruled in a case brought against Frans van Anraat for supplying chemicals to Iraq, that “[it] thinks and considers it legally and convincingly proven that the Kurdish population meets the requirement under the genocide conventions as an ethnic group. The court has no other conclusion than that these attacks were committed with the intent to destroy the Kurdish population of Iraq.” Because van Anraat supplied the chemicals before 16 March 1988, the date of the Halabja poison gas attack he was guilty of a war crime but not guilty of complicity in genocide.
On 5 June 1959 Shri Purshottam Trikamdas, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, presented a report on Tibet to the International Commission of Jurists (anNGO). The press conference address on the report states in paragraph 26:
||From the facts stated above the following conclusions may be drawn: … (e) To examine all such evidence obtained by this Committee and from other sources and to take appropriate action thereon and in particular to determine whether the crime of Genocide – for which already there is strong presumption – is established and, in that case, to initiate such action as envisaged by the Genocide Convention of 1948 and by the Charter of the United Nations for suppression of these acts and appropriate redress;
The report of the International Commission of Jurists (1960) claimed that there was ‘only’ “cultural” genocide. ICJ Report (1960) page 346: “The committee found that acts of genocide had been committed in Tibet in an attempt to destroy the Tibetans as a religious group, and that such acts are acts of genocide independently of any conventional obligation. The committee did not find that there was sufficient proof of the destruction of Tibetans as a race, nation or ethnic group as such by methods that can be regarded as genocide in international law”.
However cultural genocide is also contested by academics such as Barry Sautman. Tibetan is the everyday language of the Tibetan people.
The Central Tibetan Administration and other Tibetan in exile media claimed that approximately 1.2 million Tibetans have died of starvation, violence, or other indirect causes since 1950. White states “In all, over one million Tibetans, a fifth of the population, had died as a result of Chinese occupation up until the end of the Cultural Revolution.” This figure has been denied by Patrick French, the former Director of the Free Tibet Campaign in London.
Jones argued that the struggle sessions after the 1959 Tibetan uprising may be considered genocide, based on the claim that the conflict resulted in 92,000 deaths. However, according to tibetologist Tom Grunfeld, “the veracity of such a claim is difficult to verify.”
In 2013 Spain’s top criminal court decided to hear a case brought by Tibetan rights activists who allege that China’s former President Hu Jintao committed genocide in Tibet. Spain’s High Court dropped this case in June 2014.
The Helmet Massacre of the Tikuna people took place in 1988 and was initially treated as homicide. During the massacre four people died, nineteen were wounded, and ten disappeared. Since 1994 the episode has been treated by Brazilian courts as genocide. Thirteen men were convicted of genocide in 2001. In November 2004, after an appeal was filed before Brazil’s federal court, the man initially found guilty of hiring men to carry out the genocide was acquitted, and the killers had their initial sentences of 15–25 years reduced to 12 years.
In November 2005 during an investigation code-named Operation Rio Pardo, Mario Lucio Avelar, a Brazilian public prosecutor in Cuiabá, told Survival Internationalthat he believed that there were sufficient grounds to prosecute for genocide of the Rio Pardo Indians. In November 2006 twenty-nine people were arrested with others implicated, such as a former police commander and the governor of Mato Grosso state.
In 2006 the [Brazilian] Supreme Federal Court (STF) unanimously reaffirmed that the crime known as the Haximu Massacre [perpetrated on the Yanomami Indians in 1993] was a genocide and that the decision of a federal court to sentence miners to 19 years in prison for genocide in connection with other offenses, such as smuggling and illegal mining, was valid.
Democratic Republic of Congo
During the Congo Civil War (1998–2003), Pygmies were hunted down and eaten by both sides in the conflict, who regarded them as subhuman. Sinafasi Makelo, a representative of Mbuti pygmies, asked the UN Security Council to recognize cannibalism as a crime against humanity and also as an act of genocide.Minority Rights Group International reported evidence of mass killings, cannibalism and rape. The report, which labeled these events as a campaign of extermination, linked the violence to beliefs about special powers held by the Bambuti. In Ituri district, rebel forces ran an operation code-named “Effacer le tableau” (to wipe the slate clean). The aim of the operation, according to witnesses, was to rid the forest of pygmies.
In 2010 a report accused Rwanda‘s Tutsi-led army of committing genocide against ethnic Hutus. The report accused the Rwandan Army and allied Congolese rebels of killing tens of thousands of ethnic Hutu refugees from Rwanda and locals in systematic attacks between 1996 and 1997. The government of Rwanda rejected the accusation.
In 2007 attacks on Somalia’s Bantu population and Jubba Valley dwellers from 1991 onwards were reported, noting that “Somalia is a rare case in which genocidal acts were carried out by militias in the utter absence of a governing state structure.”
The Sri Lankan military were accused of human rights violations during Sri Lanka‘s 26-year civil war. A United Nation’s Panel of Experts looking into these alleged violations found “credible allegations, which if proven, indicate that serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law were committed both by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity“. Some activists and politicians also accused the Sri Lankan government of carrying out genocide against the minority Sri Lankan Tamil peopleduring and after the war.
Bruce Fein alleged that Sri Lanka’s leaders committed genocide, along with Tamil Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran. Refugees escaping Sri Lanka also stated that they fled from genocide, and various Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora groups echoed these accusations.
In 2009 thousands of Tamils protested in cities all over the world against the atrocities. Various diaspora activists formed a group called Tamils Against Genocide to continue the protest. Legal action against Sri Lankan leaders for alleged genocide has been initiated. Norwegian human rights lawyer Harald Stabell filed a case in Norwegian courts against Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa and others officials.
Politicians in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu also made genocide accusations. In 2008 and 2009 the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi repeatedly appealed to the Indian government to intervene to “stop the genocide of Tamils”, while his successor J. Jayalalithaa called on the Indian government to bring Rajapaksa before international courts for genocide. The women’s wing of the Communist Party of India, passed a resolution in August 2012 finding that “Systematic sexual violence against Tamil women” by Sri Lankan forces constituted genocide, calling for an “independent international investigation”.
In January 2010 a Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) held in Dublin, Ireland found Sri Lanka guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but found insufficient evidence to justify the charge of genocide. The tribunal requested a thorough investigation as some of the evidence indicated “possible acts of genocide”. Its panel found Sri Lanka guilty of genocide at its December 7–10, 2013 hearings in Berman, Germany. It also found that the US and UK were guilty of complicity. A decision on whether India, and other states, had also acted in complicity was withheld. PPT reported that LTTE could not be accurately characterized as “terrorist”, stating that movements classified as “terrorist” because of their rebellion against a state, can become political entities recognized by the international community. The International Commission of Jurists stated that the camps used to intern nearly 300,000 Tamils after the war’s end may have breached the convention against genocide.
In 2015, Sri Lankan Tamil majority Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) “passed a strongly worded resolution accusing successive governments in the island nation of committing ‘genocide’ against Tamils.”  The resolution asserts that “Tamils across Sri Lanka, particularly in the historical Tamil homeland of the NorthEast, have been subject to gross and systematic human rights violations, culminating in the mass atrocities committed in 2009. Sri Lanka’s historic violations include over 60 years of state sponsored anti-Tamil pogroms, massacres, sexual violence, and acts of cultural and linguistic destruction perpetrated by the state. These atrocities have been perpetrated with the intent to destroy the Tamil people, and therefore constitute genocide.”
The Sri Lankan government denied the allegations of genocide and war crimes.
Ad hoc tribunals
In 1951 only two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) were parties to the CPPCG: France and the Republic of China. The CPPCG was ratified by the Soviet Union in 1954, the United Kingdom in 1970, the People’s Republic of China in 1983 (having replaced the Taiwan-based Republic of China on the UNSC in 1971), and the United States in 1988. In the 1990s the international law on the crime of genocide began to be enforced.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Male mourners at the reburial ceremony for an exhumed victim of the Srebrenica massacre.
In July 1995 Serbian forces killed more than 8,000 Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War. The killing was perpetrated by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS)under the command of General Ratko Mladić. The Secretary-General of the United Nations described the mass murder as the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War. A paramilitary unit from Serbia known as theScorpions, officially part of the Serbian Interior Ministry until 1991, participated in the massacre, along with several hundred Russian and Greek volunteers.
In 2001 the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) delivered its first conviction for the crime of genocide, against General Krstić for his role in the 1994 Srebrenica massacre (on appeal he was found not guilty of genocide but guilty of aiding and abetting genocide).
In February 2007 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) returned a judgement in the Bosnian Genocide Case. It upheld by the findings by the ICTY that genocide had been committed in and around Srebrenica but did not find that genocide had been committed on the wider territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war. The ICJ also ruled that Serbia was not responsible for the genocide nor for “aiding and abetting it”, although it ruled that Serbia could have done more to prevent the genocide and that Serbia failed to punish the perpetrators. Before this ruling the term Bosnian Genocide had been used by some academics and human rights officials.
In 2010, Vujadin Popović, Lieutenant Colonel and the Chief of Security of the Drina Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army, and Ljubiša Beara, Colonel and Chief of Security of the same army, were convicted of genocide, extermination, murder and persecution by the ICTY for their role in the Srebrenice massacre and sentenced to a life in prison.
German courts handed down convictions for genocide during the Bosnian War. Novislav Djajic was indicted for participation in genocide, but the Higher Regional Court failed to find that there was sufficient certainty for a criminal conviction for genocide. Nevertheless Djajic was found guilty of 14 cases of murder and one case of attempted murder. At Djajic’s appeal on 23 May 1997, the Bavarian Appeals Chamber found that acts of genocide were committed in June 1992, confined within the administrative district of Foca. The Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Düsseldorf, in September 1997, handed down a genocide conviction against Nikola Jorgic, a Bosnian Serb from the Doboj region who was the leader of a paramilitary group located in the Doboj region. He was sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment for his involvement in genocidal actions that took place in regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, other than Srebrenica; and “On 29 November 1999, the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Düsseldorf condemned Maksim Sokolovic to 9 years in prison for aiding and abetting the crime of genocide and for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions”.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is a court under the auspices of the United Nations for the prosecution of offenses committed in Rwandaduring the genocide that occurred there during April and May 1994, commencing on April 6. The ICTR was created on November 8, 1994 by the UN Security Council to resolve claims in Rwanda, or by Rwandan citizens in nearby states, between January 1 and December 31, 1994. Over the course of approximately 100 days from the assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana on April 6 through mid-July, at least 800,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate.
As of mid-2011, the ICTR had convicted 57 people and acquitted 8. Another ten persons were still on trial while one is awaiting trial. Nine remain at large. The first trial, of Jean-Paul Akayesu, ended in 1998 with his conviction for genocide and crimes against humanity. This was the world’s first conviction for genocide, as defined by the 1948 Convention. Jean Kambanda, interim Prime Minister during the genocide, pled guilty.
The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, Ta Mok and other leaders, organized the mass killing of ideologically suspect groups, ethnic minorities such as ethnic Vietnamese, Chinese (or Sino-Khmers), Chams and Thais, former civil servants, former government soldiers, Buddhist monks, secular intellectuals and professionals, and former city dwellers. Khmer Rouge cadres defeated in factional struggles were also liquidated in purges. Man-made famine and slave labor resulted in many hundreds of thousands of deaths. Craig Etcheson suggested that the death toll was between 2 and 2.5 million, with a “most likely” figure of 2.2 million. After 5 years of researching 20,000 grave sites, he concluded that “these mass graves contain the remains of 1,386,734 victims of execution.” However, some scholars argued that the Khmer Rouge were not racist and had no intention of exterminating ethnic minorities or the Cambodian people; in this view, their brutality was the product of an extreme version of communist ideology.
On 6 June 2003 the Cambodian government and the United Nations reached an agreement to set up the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) which would focus exclusively on crimes committed by the most senior Khmer Rouge officials during the period ofKhmer Rouge rule from 1975 to 1979. The judges were sworn in in early July 2006.
The investigating judges were presented with the names of five possible suspects by the prosecution on 18 July 2007.
Khieu Samphan at a public hearing before the Pre-Trial Cambodia Tribunalon 3 July 2009.
- Kang Kek Iew was formally charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity and detained by the Tribunal on 31 July 2007. He was indicted on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity on 12 August 2008. His appeal was rejected on 3 February 2012, and he continued serving a sentence of life imprisonment.
- Nuon Chea, a former prime minister, was indicted on charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and several other crimes under Cambodian law on 15 September 2010. He was transferred into the custody of the ECCC on 19 September 2007. His trial began on 27 June 2011.
- Khieu Samphan, a former head of state, was indicted on charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and several other crimes under Cambodian law on 15 September 2010. He was transferred into the custody of the ECCC on 19 September 2007. His trial also began on 27 June 2011.
- Ieng Sary, a former foreign minister, was indicted on charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and several other crimes under Cambodian law on 15 September 2010. He was transferred into the custody of the ECCC on 12 November 2007. His trial began on 27 June 2011. He died in March 2013.
- Ieng Thirith, wife of Ieng Sary and a former minister for social affairs, was indicted on charges of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and several other crimes under Cambodian law on 15 September 2010. She was transferred into the custody of the ECCC on 12 November 2007. Proceedings against her have been suspended pending a health evaluation.
Some of the international jurists and the Cambodian government disagreed over whether any other people should be tried by the Tribunal.
International Criminal Court
The ICC can prosecute only crimes committed on or after 1 July 2002.
The ongoing racial conflict in Darfur, Sudan, which started in 2003, was declared genocide by United States Secretary of State Colin Powell on September 9, 2004 in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.Since that time however, no other permanent member of the UN Security Council has followed suit. In January 2005, anInternational Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 1564 of 2004, issued a report to the Secretary-General stating that “the Government of the Sudan has not pursued a policy of genocide.”Nevertheless, the Commission cautioned that “The conclusion that no genocidal policy has been pursued and implemented in Darfur by the Government authorities, directly or through the militias under their control, should not be taken in any way as detracting from the gravity of the crimes perpetrated in that region. International offences such as the crimes against humanity and war crimes that have been committed in Darfur may be no less serious and heinous than genocide.”
In March 2005, the Security Council formally referred the situation in Darfur to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), taking into account the Commission report but without mentioning any specific crimes. Two permanent members of the Security Council, the United States and China, abstained from the vote on the referral resolution. As of his fourth report to the Security Council, the Prosecutor found “reasonable grounds to believe that the individuals identified [in the UN Security Council Resolution 1593] have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes”, but did not find sufficient evidence to prosecute for genocide.
In April 2007, the Judges of the ICC issued arrest warrants against the former Minister of State for the Interior, Ahmad Harun, and a Militia Janjaweed leader, Ali Kushayb, for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
On July 14, 2008, ICC prosecutors filed ten charges of war crimes against Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. The prosecutors claimed that al-Bashir “masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part” three tribal groups in Darfur because of their ethnicity. On 4 March 2009 the ICC issued a warrant for al-Bashir’s arrest for crimes against humanity and war crimes, but not genocide. This is the first warrant issued by the ICC against a sitting head of state.
List of genocides by death toll
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This list of genocides by death toll includes death toll estimates of all deaths that are either directly or indirectly caused by genocide.
The United NationsConvention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) defines genocide in part as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. Determining what historical events constitute a genocide and which are merely criminal or inhuman behavior is not a clear-cut matter. Some of accounts below may include ancillary causes of death such as malnutrition and disease, which may or may not have been intentionally inflicted.
|78% of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe
||The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It was initially carried out in German-occupied Europe by Einsatzgruppenparamilitary death squads, later the primary method of extermination was gassing in extermination camps.Donald Niewyk and Francis Nicosia write in The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust that the term is commonly defined as the mass murder of more than five million European Jews by the Nazi regime. They further state that ‘Not everyone finds this a fully satisfactory definition.’According to British historian Martin Gilbert, the total number of victims is just under six million—around 78 percent of the 7.3 million Jews in occupied Europe at the time.The War Against the Jewswritten by Lucy Dawidowicz provides detailed listings by country of the number of Jews killed in World War II. Dawidowicz researched birth and death records in many cities of prewar Europe to come up with a death toll of 5,933,900 Jews. The higher figure of 11 million is a broader definition of the Holocaust, including the victims of the Romani Genocide, Soviet POWs, Poles, Germany’s eugenics program, Communists, and Homosexuals.
||50% ofArmeniansin the Ottoman Empire
||Between 1915-1923, an estimated 800,000 to 1.5 million Armenians, approximately half the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire, were killed in massacres or died as a consequence of military deportations, forced marches and mass starvations carried out by the Young Turks. The extermination of the Armenians coined the word “genocide”. The Armenian Genocide occurred alongside the Greek and Assyrian genocides. The State of Turkeydenies that a genocide occurred.
||On 7 August 2014, Nuon Chea, second in command to Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, received a life sentence for crimes against humanity, alongside another top-tier Khmer Rouge leader,Khieu Samphan.
||Red Terror (Ethiopia)
||The Ethiopian Red Terror was a violent political campaign in Ethiopia and Eritrea that most visibly took place after Communist Mengistu Haile Mariam achieved control of the Derg, the military junta, on 3 February 1977. In December 2006, Mengistu Haile Mariam was convicted in absentia for his role in the Red Terror while leader of Ethiopia. He remains in hiding today under the protection of Zimbabwe.
||Holodomor (andSoviet famine of 1932–1933)
|| Ukrainian SSR
||Holodomor was a famine in Ukraine caused by the government of Joseph Stalin, a part of the Soviet famine of 1932–1933. Holodomor is claimed by the contemporary Ukrainian government to be a genocide of the Ukrainians.As of March 2008, Ukraine and nineteen other governments have recognized the actions of the Soviet government as an act of genocide. The joint statement at the United Nations in 2003 has defined the famine as the result of cruel actions and policies of the totalitarian regime that caused the deaths of millions of Ukrainians, Russians, Kazakhs and other nationalities in the USSR. On 23 October 2008 theEuropean Parliament adopted a resolution that recognized the Holodomor as a crime against humanity.On January 12, 2010, the court of appeals in Kievopened hearings into the “fact of genocide-famine Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932–33”, in May 2009 theSecurity Service of Ukraine had started a criminal case “in relation to the genocide in Ukraine in 1932–33”. In a ruling on January 13, 2010 the court found Stalin and other Bolshevik leaders guilty of genocide against the Ukrainians.
||Nigerian Civil War
||Since the independence of Nigeria in 1960 the 3 ethnic groups, the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo, had always been fighting over control in the political realm. The Igbos seemed to have control over most of Nigeria’s politics until the assassination of the then Igbo president Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi by Hausa general Yakubu Gowon. With this the Igbos seceded from Nigeria and created the Republic of Biafra. The Igbos had the upper hand until late 1967 when food supplies were cut off. By mid-1968 50% of Igbos were starving and thousands more were being slaughtered by Hausa and Yoruba soldiers. In 1970 the Igbos surrendered to the Nigerians and by then anywhere from 1 to 3 million Igbos had either starved or been killed.
||Some 50 perpetrators of the genocide have been found guilty by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, but most others have not been charged due to no witness accounts. Another 120,000 were arrested by Rwanda; of these, 60,000 were tried and convicted in the gacaca court system. Genocidaires who fled into Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo) were used as a justification when Rwanda and Uganda invaded Zaire (First and Second Congo Wars).
||Expulsion of Germans after World War II
||With at least 12 million Germans directly involved, it was the largest movement or transfer of any single ethnic population in modern historyand largest among the post-war expulsions inCentral and Eastern Europe (which displaced more than twenty million people in total). The events are generally classified as population transfer, or as ethnic cleansing. Martin Shaw (2007) and W.D. Rubinstein (2004) describe the expulsions as genocide.Felix Ermacora writing in 1991, (in line with a minority of legal scholars) considered ethnic cleansing to be genocide, though it doesn’t meet the legal definition as adopted by the UN Genocide Convention.
||80% of 600,000 ZungharianOirats
||Zunghar Genocide in theZunghar Khanate
||The Qing dynastyQianlong emperor moved the remaining Zunghar people to the mainland and ordered the generals to kill all the men in Barkol orSuzhou, and divided their wives and children to Qing soldiers. The Qing soldiers who massacred the Zunghars were Manchu Bannermen and Khalkha Mongols. In an account of the war, Wei Yuan wrote that about 40% of the Zunghar households were killed by smallpox, 20% fled toRussia or the Kazakh Khanate, and 30% were killed by the army, leaving no yurts in an area of several thousands of li except those of the surrendered. Clarke wrote 80%, or between 480,000 and 600,000 people, were killed between 1755 and 1758 in what “amounted to the complete destruction of not only the Zunghar state but of the Zunghars as a people.” HistorianPeter Perdue has shown that the decimation of the Dzungars was the result of an explicit policy of extermination launched by Qianlong. Although this “deliberate use of massacre” has been largely ignored by modern scholars, Mark Levene, a historian whose recent research interests focus on genocide, has stated that the extermination of the Dzungars was “arguably the eighteenth century genocide par excellence.”
||Although there is no legal continuity between the Russian Empire and the modern Russian Federation, and the concept of genocide was only adopted in international law in the 20th century, on 5 July 2005 the Circassian Congress, an organization that unites representatives of the various Circassian peoples in the Russian Federation, called on Moscow first to acknowledge and then to apologize for Tsarist policies that Circassians say constituted a genocide. Their appeal pointed out that “according to the official tsarist documents more than 400,000 Circassians were killed, 497,000 were forced to flee abroad to Turkey, and only 80,000 were left alive in their native area.” Other sources give much higher numbers, totaling 1 million- 1.5 million deported and/or killed. See also: Circassian Genocide
||Don Riverarea, Soviet Union
||In the Russian Civil War that followed the October Revolution, the Cossacks found themselves on both sides of the conflict. Many officers and experienced Cossacks fought for the White Army, and some for the Red Army. Following the defeat of the White Army, a policy of Decossackization(Raskazachivaniye) took place on the surviving Cossacks and their homelands since they were viewed as a potential threat to the new regime. This mostly involved dividing their territory amongst other divisions and giving it to new autonomous republics of minorities, and then actively encouraging settlement of these territories with those peoples. This was especially true for the Terek Cossacksland. According to Michael Kort, “During 1919 and 1920, out of a population of approximately 3 million, the Bolshevik regime killed or deported an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 Cossacks”.
||Disputed by Turkey, but considered a genocide.
||Genocide during period of Independent State of Croatia and Yugoslavia, with official policy of extermination similar to that of Nazi Germany. See also The Holocaust in Croatia.
||Disputed by Turkey, but considered a genocide.
||War in Darfur
||See International response to the War in Darfur
||Massacres ofPolish peoples
|| Soviet Union
||The operation from 1937-38 to eliminate the Polish minority in the Soviet Union. The crime is considered genocide.
||Massacres ofMaya peoples
||Massacres of Maya during the Guatemalan Civil War was a genocide according to the Historical Clarification Commission.
||Post 30 September Movement
||Strictly prohibited to publish by Indonesian Government (Orde Baru). 
||Massacre of Poles by Ukrainian formations OUN,UPA and SS Galizien in eastern Polish territories Volhynia and Eastern Lesser Poland (now Ukraine)
||The al-Anfal Campaign (Arabic: حملة الأنفال), also known as the Kurdish Genocide, was agenocidal campaign against the Kurdish people(and other non-Arab populations) in northern Iraq, led by the Ba’athist Iraqi President Saddam Husseinand headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid in the final stages of Iran–Iraq War. The campaign takes its name from Suratal-Anfal in the Qur’an, which was used as a code name by the former Iraqi Baathistgovernment for a series of systematic attacks against the Kurdish population of northern Iraq, conducted between 1986 and 1989 and culminating in 1988. The campaign also targeted other minority communities in Iraq including Assyrians, Shabaks,Iraqi Turkmens, Yazidis, Jews, Mandeans, and many villages belonging to these ethnic groups were also destroyed. As many as 180,000 Kurds were murdered.
||Massacres of Hutus
||Tutsi government massacres of Hutu, part of theBurundi genocide
||Mass murder and mass rape committed by Japanese troops against Nanking (current official spelling: Nanjing) during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During this period, hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants were murdered by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. Widespread rape and looting also occurred.
||Congo Free State
||A reduction of the population of the Congo is noted by all who have compared the country at the beginning of Leopold’s control with the beginning of Belgian state rule in 1908, but estimates of the deaths toll vary considerably. Estimates of contemporary observers suggest that the population decreased by half during this period and these are supported by some modern scholars such as Jan Vansina. Others dispute this. Scholars at the Royal Museum for Central Africa argue that a decrease of 15% over the first forty years of colonial rule (up to the census of 1924). This depopulation had four main causes: “indiscriminate war”, starvation, reduction of births and diseases.Sleeping sickness was also a major cause of fatality at the time. Opponents of Leopold’s rule argue, however, that the administration itself was to be considered responsible for the spreading of the epidemic. In the absence of a census providing even an initial idea of the size of population of the region at the inception of the Congo Free State (the first was taken in 1924), it is impossible to quantify population changes in the period.Estimates of the death toll vary considerably, but the figure of 10 million deaths was obtained by estimating a 50% decline in the total population during the Congo Free State and applying it to the total population of 10 million in 1924. Assuming the validity of these estimates, it is controversial whether the depopulation would be considered genocide. While the crimes against humanity which occurred under the forced labour system of the Congo Free State are well documented, it is not considered by mainstream scholars to constitute a genocide under the legal definition.
||1971 Bangladesh atrocities
||Massacres, killings, rape, arson and systematic elimination of religious minorities (particularly Hindus), political dissidents and the members of the liberation forces of Bangladesh were conducted by the Pakistan Army with support from paramilitary militias—the Razakars, Al-Badr and Al-Shams—formed by the radical Islamist Jamaat-e-Islamiparty.
||Herero and Namaqua genocide
||Generally accepted. See also Imperial Germany
||Dictatorship and political repression inEquatorial Guinea
|| Equatorial Guinea
||Francisco Macías Nguema led a brutal dictatorship in his country, most notably against the minorityBubi. It is estimated that his regime killed at least 20,000 people, while around 100,000 (one third of the population) fled the country. At his trial, Nguema was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. He was executed in 1979.
||Tens of thousands of Kurds were killed and thousands more forced into exile, depopulating the province.
||A genocidal massacre according to the ICTY. The Srebrenica massacre is the most recent genocide committed in Europe. On 31 March 2010, theSerbian Parliament passed a resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre and apologizing to the families of Srebrenica for the deaths of Bosniaks. See also: War in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian genocide.
||Persecution of Falun Gong
||A campaign by the Chinese government against theFalun Gong spiritual practice. It is estimated that since 1999, at least 2,000 Falun Gong adherents have died as a result of the suppression. Some courts and observers have likened the crackdown to genocide.
||Persecution of Yazidis by ISIL
||The genocidal persecution of the Yazidi people of Iraq by the terrorist group ISIL—including massacres, abductions and rape of Yazidis, expulsions, and forced conversion, is considered by the UN to amount to attempted genocide.
|| Austria Germany
||During the civil war between Adolph of Nassau andAlbrecht of Austria, German knight Rintfleischclaims to have received a mission from heaven to exterminate “the accursed race of the Jews”. Under his leadership, the mob goes from town to town destroying Jewish communities and massacring about 100,000 Jews, often by mass burning at stake. Among 146 localities in Franconia, Bavaria and Austria are Röttingen (20 April), Würzburg (24 July), Nuremberg (1 August).
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Democide is a term revived and redefined by the political scientist R. J. Rummel as “the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder.” Rummel created the term as an extended concept to include forms of government murder that are not covered by the term genocide, and it has become accepted among other scholars. According to Rummel, democide passed war as the leading cause of non-natural death in the 20th century.
Democide is the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder. Democide is not necessarily the elimination of entire cultural groups but rather groups within the country that the government feels need to be eradicated for political reasons and due to claimed future threats. According to Rummel, genocide has three different meanings. The ordinary meaning is murder by government of people due to their national, ethnic, racial or religious group membership. The legal meaning of genocide refers to the international treaty on genocide, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This also includes nonlethal acts that in the end eliminate or greatly hinder the group. Looking back on history, one can see the different variations of democides that have occurred, but it still consists of acts of killing or mass murder. A generalized meaning of genocide is similar to the ordinary meaning but also includes government killings of political opponents or otherwise intentional murder. In order to avoid confusion over which meaning is intended, Rummel created the term democide for the third meaning.
The objectives of such a plan of democide include the disintegration of the political and social institutions of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups; the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity; and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.
Rummel defines democide as “the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder”. For example, government-sponsored killings for political reasons would be considered democide. Democide can also include deaths arising from “intentionally or knowingly reckless and depraved disregard for life”; this brings into account many deaths arising through various neglects and abuses, such as forced mass starvation. Rummel explicitly excludes battle deaths in his definition. Capital punishment, actions taken against armed civilians during mob action or riot, and the deaths of noncombatants killed during attacks on military targets so long as the primary target is military, are not considered democide.
He has further stated: “I use the civil definition of murder, where someone can be guilty of murder if they are responsible in a reckless and wanton way for the loss of life, as in incarcerating people in camps where they may soon die of malnutrition, unattended disease, and forced labor, or deporting them into wastelands where they may die rapidly from exposure and disease.”
Some examples of democide cited by Rummel include the Great Purges carried out by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union, the deaths from the colonial policy in theCongo Free State, and Mao Zedong‘s Great Leap Forward, which resulted in a famine killing millions of people. According to Rummel, these were not cases of genocide because those who were killed were not selected on the basis of their race, but were killed in large numbers as a result of government policies. Famine is classified by Rummel as democide if it fits the definition above.
For instance, Rummel re-classified Mao Zedong‘s Great Leap Forward as democide in 2005. He had believed that Mao’s policies were largely responsible for the famine, but that Mao was misled about it, and finally when he found out, he stopped it and changed his policies. Therefore, thought Rummel, it was not an intentional famine and thus not a democide. However, claims from Jung Chang and Jon Halliday‘s controversial Mao: the Unknown Story allege that Mao knew about the famine from the beginning but didn’t care, and eventually Mao had to be stopped by a meeting of 7,000 top Communist Party members. Based on the book’s claims, Rummel now views the famine as intentional and a democide. Taking this into account, the total for Chinese Communist Party democide is 77 million, more than the Soviet Union (62 million), Nazi Germany (21 million), or any other regime in the 20th century.
Research on democide
Rummel’s sources include scholarly works, refugee reports, memoirs, biographies, historical analyses, actual exhumed-body counts and records kept by the murderers themselves. He estimates the death-toll for each country over the course of a century, along with a low- and a high-end estimate to account for uncertainty. These high-end estimates might be considered absurd estimates by others.
Rummel’s counts 43 million deaths due to democide inside and outside the Soviet Union during Stalin’s regime.Robert Conquest‘s 1968 book The Great Terror, and that Conquest’s qualifier “almost certainly too low” is usually forgotten. Conquest’s calculations excluded camp deaths before 1936 and after 1950, executions from 1939–1953, the vast deportation of the people of captive nations into the camps and their deaths 1939–1953, the massive deportation within the Soviet Union of minorities 1941–1944 and their deaths, and those the Soviet Red Army and secret police executed throughout Eastern Europe after their conquest during 1944–1945. Moreover, the Holodomor that killed 5 million in 1932–1934 is also not included.
This is much higher than an often quoted figure of 20 million. Rummel has responded that the 20 million estimate is based on a figure from
His research shows that the death toll from democide is far greater than the death toll from war. After studying over 8,000 reports of government-caused deaths, Rummel estimates that there have been 262 million victims of democide in the last century. According to his figures, six times as many people have died from the actions of people working for governments than have died in battle.
One of his main findings is that liberal democracies have much less democide than authoritarian regimes. He argues that there is a relation between political power and democide. Political mass murder grows increasingly common as political power becomes unconstrained. At the other end of the scale, where power is diffuse, checked, and balanced, political violence is a rarity. According to Rummel, “The more power a regime has, the more likely people will be killed. This is a major reason for promoting freedom.” Rummel concludes that “concentrated political power is the most dangerous thing on earth.”
Several other researchers have found similar results. “Numerous researchers point out that democratic norms and political structures constrain elite decisions about the use of repression against their citizens whereas autocratic elites are not so constrained. Once in place, democratic institutions — even partial ones — reduce the likelihood of armed conflict and all but eliminate the risk that it will lead to geno/politicide.”
For books, articles, data, and analyses regarding democide, see Rummel’s website. In particular, he has an extensive FAQ. He has also made his many sources and the calculations used, from a pre-publisher manuscript of his book Statistics of Democide, available online.
Researchers often give widely different estimates of mass murder. They use different definitions, methodology, and sources. For example, some include battle deaths in their calculations. Matthew White has compiled some of these different estimates.
- Jump up^ Encountering Evil: Live Options in Theodicy, Stephen Thane Davis, Westminster John Knox Press, 2001, ISBN 0-664-22251-X Google Books
- Jump up^ Understanding and Preventing Violence: The Psychology of Human Destructiveness, Leighton C. Whitaker, CRC Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8493-2265-0 Google Books
- Jump up^ Contemporary Responses to the Holocaust, Konrad Kwiet, Jürgen Matthäus, Praeger/Greenwood, 2004, ISBN 0-275-97466-9 Google Books
- Jump up^ R. J. Rummel (Feb 1, 2005). “Democide Vs. Other Causes of Death”.
- Jump up^ R. J. Rummel (1998). Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder since 1900. LIT Verlag. ISBN 978-3825840105.
- Jump up^ Genocide.
- Jump up^ (Lemkin, Raphael. “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe,” 1944.)
- Jump up^ Rummel’s definition.
- Jump up^ R.J. Rummel (2005-11-30). “Getting My Reestimate Of Mao’s Democide Out”. Retrieved 2007-04-09.
- Jump up^ Miracle.
- Jump up^ Genocide.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
~ MARTIN NIEMÖLLER